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Best of Ireland

Arts & Entertainment

by Kelly Aldridge

Ireland, home of the green rolling hills, medieval castles, stunning cliffs, and St. Patrick himself. It’s no wonder Ireland is a hot spot amongst travelers of all kinds. With a population of about 6.4 million and about 32,600 square miles of beautiful, it’s no wonder why many choose to travel this amazing country. Each year , Ireland sees more visitors than there are people living in the country, making travel a huge income industry.

Getting there:

Dublin, the country’s capital and largest airport, sees the most visitors by air, following Shannon on the west coast. Traveling by ferry is a very popular choice among travelers. The Stena Cruise line and Irish Ferries sees approximately 6 million travelers a year, making them a huge means of transport into the country. Many members of the EU take holiday and can quickly jump on a ferry from the UK. Travelers can easily rent a car and see the country at leisure. Something that all US travelers should keep in mind is that Europeans drive on the opposite side of the road.

What to see:

Top destinations in Dublin include Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo, Dublin Castle, and the Guinness and Jamison distilleries by day. Of course in Dublin, there are many bars and restaurants, including the famous Temple Bar which plays traditional Irish music nightly. Some of the most popular destinations lie on the west coast of Ireland. Many travel into Dublin and take off quickly to see the breathtaking sites that await them. There are many day trips from Dublin that range in duration and students receive steep discounts when showing their University I.D. West Coast destinations include the Cliffs of Moher in County Claire which offer stunning cliff views over 700 feet tall. The Blarney Castle is another must-see in County Cork where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone for 7 years of eloquent speech. The Ring of Kerry in County Kerry is a sight not to be missed, offering a beautiful coastal drive along the Atlantic Ocean. The Killarney National Park in County Kerry is a top destination while in Killarney. The park doesn’t allow any vehicles inside, making it a quiet retreat to enjoy.

Must eat:

While in Ireland , don’t forget to try the traditional Irish cuisine. The country is known for their Sheppard’s Pie, traditional Irish breakfast, and fish and chips. You won’t go anywhere in Ireland without seeing people drinking the famous Guinness beer which the locals are proud of. Something to keep in mind is the price of food in Ireland is very expensive, so plan ahead so you are not surprised. The reason food prices are abnormally high here is that all of Ireland uses food supplied by Irish farmers. The country does not import many items from other countries, thereby supporting their local farmers.

Just for Students:

While in Ireland, students are encouraged to use their student I.D.s which can help in saving money while on vacation. From tours to hostels to museums, your student I.D. can not only save you some money but often times will allow you to skip lines. Don’t forget your I.D. and make sure to ask if there is a student discount wherever you go!

Resources:

Paddywagontours.com – The Company vows to give their guests the ultimate Irish experience, all while riding in the green wagons. This tour is great for the young and young at heart.

Discoverireland.com – This site allows you to plan, explore, and find things to do while in Ireland.

Irishferries.com – This site allows you to plan your trip on the Irish Ferries which offers great low fares. The site is exceptionally easy to use in planning your trip to or from Ireland.

 

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